The Kerry scandalette, R.I.P

The Kerry intern scandalette seems to be fading. The woman has been identified and isn’t saying anything. Her parents think that Kerry is a “sleaze” but deny any affair. She apparently never worked for him and is now 24. John Ellis, not a Kerry-lover, reports a detail everyone else seems to have missed:

What is known about the source of this information is that she has a major axe to grind; she hates [Kerry]. She really, really hates him. She is grinding the Mother of All Axes.

Something could still pop — Glenn Reynolds, for one, will be soooooo disappointed if it doesn’t — but that doesn’t really seem likely.

The rumor caused the Kerry nomination contract on Tradesports, which had hit a high of 96, to drop below 80, but it’s back up to 91 now. The Bush re-elect contract is down to 63, the lowest it’s been in months.

Still, whoever told Drudge to steal this from WatchBlog and try to frame Clark as having spread the story didn’t completely waste his or her time. It gave Bush supporters something else to talk about while they were pretending that the dental record ended the AWOL flap. And despite the utter lack of anything approaching a confirmed, on-the-record fact to back up the accusation that “Kerry had an affair with an intern,” that accusation has now spread sufficiently widely that it’s going to be in the back of voters’ minds. Kerry’s picture is on the front pages of the New York Post and the New York Daily News, attached to stories that say he says it isn’t true.

There’s an old story — perhaps canonical, perhaps not — about Lyndon Johnson, trailing near the end of a campaign, telling his campaign manager to spread the word that his opponent was inclined to have romantic interludes with swine. “But Lyndon, we can’t prove that!” the naive manager is supposed to have protested. “Of course we can’t,” said LBJ. “But we can make the son-of-a-bitch deny it.”

Precisely.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

One thought on “The Kerry scandalette, R.I.P”

  1. Fox News Sunday

    Brit Hume…dismissed things like the Kerry infidelity rumor, and the female panelist (Ceci?) noted that Clark's reported connection to the whole thing is a load of hogwash…Sidenote on the infidelity thing, I read this on Mark Kleiman's site today…

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